Those are the words of Joe Biden on elections in Iraq, as reported by Zell Miller's least favorite "highbrow hussy." As usual, Maureen Dowd gets it right. She is a blue state Ann Coulter- sharp, good looking, controversial- except that she's neither a moron nor bigot.
The administration astounds me- the President models his leadership style after an effective CEO. Effective CEO's listen to the specialists in their company, and make the decisions based on their counsel. Dubya, however, makes his decisions and then listens only to those specialists whose counsel echoes the path already taken. The "realists" (i.e. the people with the audacity to suggest that Iraq is not going well) are pushed aside in favor of "idealists" (i.e. the people who said it was going to be a cakewalk).
So, because Brent Scowcroft believes that elections could "deepen the conflict" he gets the boot. Scowcroft is no hippie dove- he was GHWB's National Security Advisor, and one of the architects of Gulf War I. He actively advised against taking Saddam down in 1991, fearing that we could get bogged down into a protracted occupation. In fact, he co-wrote a book with GHWB in 1998 making this point exactly. For his presecience, GWB disses him as "a pain in the ass in his old age." Indeed.
Even though I probably disagreed with GHWB and Scowcroft more often than not, I can't recall feeling the fear and dread that I feel now. I can't remember thinking that my country was a rogue state, bent on imposing its worldview. I can't remember thinking (seriously) about moving to another country. In 1991, even though I disagreed with the policies, I never thought that the country was evil. Now, I'm not so sure.